During a bizarre Facebook Live event held this afternoon, HBO announced that Game of Thrones’ seventh season will premiere on July 16th. The summer debut comes later than previous premieres thanks the producers wanting to accommodate the shooting schedule.
The song of ice and fire is nearing its end
Last season saw the series enter its final stretch, with Daenerys Targaryen on her way to Westeros, Cersei Lannister taking the Iron Throne, Arya Stark avenging her family, and Jon Snow being crowned King of the North. Now that winter and the White Walkers have come, the Great War is about to begin.
That much is hinted at in the surprisingly restrained poster for the new season, which was unveiled just last night:
With the reveal of the release date, HBO also released a short teaser trailer for the season:
The upcoming season will only have seven episodes instead of the usual 10. Series creator David Benioff told Deadline last year that the show had about 15 more episodes left in it, so the final season will likely have up to eight episodes of blood and mayhem before the saga is finally complete.
Update 4:15pm ET: An earlier version of this article stated that the episodes premiering on July 16th would be the first half of the seventh season. That was inaccurate, and the error has been corrected.